Manila Water, the Philippines’ leading enterprise for water, used water and environmental solutions, entered into a memorandum of understanding with the International Water Centre, Australia and the University of Queensland, Australia Advance Water Management Centre to establish a partnership program aimed at developing principles, procedures and projects for water security in the region.
The program dubbed as “Collaborative Sphere of Excellence in Water Security for the Asia Pacific Region” will build on the expertise and experiences of the three partner organizations through a three-pronged approach development and sharing of industry knowledge and research led by University of Queensland through the Advanced Water Management Centre; capacity building through translation and training led by International Water Centre; and adoption of principles and stewardship acts by Manila Water. Furthermore, the parties agree to promote specific activities or projects, as well as seek twinning and funding partners to achieve the vision of water security in light of emerging challenges such as climate change, population, urbanization, environmental degradation and others.
With operational presence in Metro Manila’s East Zone, in economic and tourist hubs all over the country, and in key locations in Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar, Manila Water brings into the collaboration the opportunities and avenues to localize, apply and assess the learnings and principles built by the program.
Manila Water Chief Operating Officer for New Business Operations Virgilio C. Rivera, Jr. shared that the program mirrors the company’s determination to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, specifically on clean water and sanitation. The company hopes to put forward its sustainability practices in more areas in the country and the region by encouraging participation from other organizations to join this effort. “Our vision is to get quality and committed stakeholders to get involved in creating and implementing projects that will assist in ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” said Rivera.
Meanwhile, International Water Centre’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Pascoe sees their company and the University of Queensland sharing some of their country’s best practices in efficiently resolving water challenges and how it lays the groundwork for future requirements in the waterscape. “Some of the gaps here in the Philippines and in Asia Pacific are much larger than in Australia, and I think that would require some innovation where we can serve as conduits in the implementation of two-way learning and development,” said Pascoe.
The International Water Centre is a Brisbane-based organization dedicated to providing the most advanced education and training, applied research and knowledge services to implement a whole-of-water cycle approach and develop capacity in integrated water resource management. The University of Queensland (Australia) Advance Water Management Centre, meanwhile, is an internationally recognized research center focused on innovative water technology and management. It also aims to meet urban water challenges affecting productivity, resilience and livability of cities and towns in Australia.